friendly reminder: when to harvest garlic

'German Extra Hardy' has few cloves, each very large
IAM WAITING, WATCHFULLY, FOR THE MOMENT–the garlic-harvest moment. Unlike its botanical cousin the onion, garlic doesn’t want to be left to go completely brown in the garden–but digging it too soon can diminish storage life as well. How to tell just when to harvest your homegrown garlic–and if yours is ready, how to stash it for a long-lasting, firm supply, along with all my other garlic how-to’s.

  1. Tkelly says:

    Thanks for this post, it is my first time growing garlic and I can use all the help with this part of the stage of growing it. You are correct it has been an easy crop so far. My garlic scapes came up about 4 weeks ago, so maybe soon…

  2. Barbara says:

    You are a gem to remind us all to harvest such a beloved crop! I’m still making garlic scape pesto, garlic scape dip, garlic scape omelets! I live in Maine and we are ahead of schedule.

  3. TomW says:

    About right on schedule here in the PNW. Have you ever heard the scapes called “whistles”? That is my preferred term. Since the snow peas also ripen up at the same time we enjoy eating a combo that we call “Peas and Whistles”.

  4. krakatoa says:

    Thank you for this well timed post. Here in Missouri my first garlic was harvested last night and one head roasted for dinner. Thank you also for sharing your wealth of knowledge. My garden is better because of you.

  5. boodely says:

    My softneck garlic keeled over this week, which I took as a sign that it was tired, and would like to be laid out to dry.

  6. Don Statham says:

    I stored my garlic in my basement, hanging it up by string and I am still using it a year later. The average temperature of a basement (low 50’s ) seems to be the perfect storage place. As I need it, I then bring it up and store it in an old yogurt container with holes punched in the top- which I keep in the refrigerator. You don’t need a fancy garlic container- – recycling is the way to go!

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Don. I store mine similarly, but find that the heads begin to get looses (cloves separate a bit) by early spring at the latest, hence my bags of frozen garlic cloves with a portion of the harvest. I often wish we all had root cellars with various compartments ideally sited to different crops…and not like the basement itself, which here houses the furnace, which depending on the outside temperature goes on more or less often, altering the temp in the basement by a few degrees (and also the humidity).

  7. Thanks for the great tips on harvesting. I am in Birch Bay, Wa. Cut my scapes 7 days ago and harvested a few of my Susanville garlics today. I am proceeding with caution as this is my first experience with garlic. I planted the soft necks. What hard neck varieties do you grow?

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